Expectations of senior women

Posted: December 6, 2010 by Jender in Uncategorized

I’m a senior female philosopher. I’ve received comments on a paper of mine to be presented at a large national meeting. The person commenting maintains that my paper is utterly without merit. I’ve confused A and B; I purport to address B, but my claims don’t apply to it. At all.

Now he is only a few years away from his PhD. He’s got a lot of learn. But I wonder where he learned that it was even vaguely reasonable to assume a senior philosopher really can’t do philosophy. That’s the level of the mistake he attributes to me.

I wrote here before about getting a response from someone who did not think my work had any arguments. I’ve had decades of such comments. Dan Simons (the gorilla-you-don’t-see psychologist) has said that it is hard for us to see what is unexpected. I feel, quite honestly, that its a kind of practical betrayal by the profession, as people come out of grad school not expecting senior women to be able to think straight.

The last time this happened I exploded, I’m afraid. This time I’m more o, la-di-da. My partner says, “Finish him off when you reply.” Not sure I will.

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